Minnie Mouse Doesn’t Need a Model Makeover

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By Ragen Chastain When the high-end department store Barney’s decided to collaborate with Disney for its holiday window, Barney’s creative director, David Freedman insisted that, “the important thing to me was always that it had to be authentic. It really had to hit the nail on the head in every detail.” When it came to the … [Read more...]

Activist Counters Fat Shaming Ads with Body Positive Billboard

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By Jennifer Jonassen At the beginning of the year a trio of activists spearheaded a movement against the discriminatory campaign based in Georgia called Strong4Life. This controversial campaign features toxic messages with the intent of combatting childhood obesity primarily through shame. Hundreds of people were inspired to … [Read more...]

The LEGO Disconnect on Gender

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By Crystal Smith As most readers may know, there has been a huge uproar over LEGO’s newest product line, LEGO Friends. (Google it. You can’t miss it.) Regular readers [at The Achilles Effect] might also know that LEGO has been one of my favorite targets for a while now. Like the people protesting the LEGO Friends line, I have … [Read more...]

Doll Parts: The “Barbie Executioner” Strikes Back

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by Melanie Klein, Contributor My mother never addressed beauty in a critical way. In fact, beauty was rarely openly discussed in my house, but was the lingering weight on the shoulders of all the women in my family. The only times beauty was discussed was when my mother told me I needed to lose weight or when my grandmother … [Read more...]

What Do You Get When a Boy Dresses Like a Girl? Acceptance!

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As a girl I liked to wear clothes that could be considered "boyish". I received no judgment or questioning just love and support from my mom who let me dress myself at 3 years old. Why should it be different for little boys who are drawn to wear colors and things that sparkle and flow? This segment from the Seattle show, New Day … [Read more...]

I’m Saving My Cheers Over New, “Authentic” Black Barbie Line

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by Tami Winfrey Harris, originally published at What Tami Said EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - (Business Wire) Mattel® announced today the launch of So In Style, a new line of black dolls by Barbie® featuring more authentic-looking facial features such as fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair. So In Style … [Read more...]

Girls and Dieting: Then and Now

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By Jeffrey Azslow The Wall Street Journal September 2, 2009 One day in January 1986, fourth-grade girls at Marie Murphy School in Wilmette, Ill., were called down to the principal's office. A stranger was waiting there to ask each girl a question: "Are you on a diet?" Most of the girls said they were. "I just want to … [Read more...]

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

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Originally posted from the New York Times. I was struck by this image for it says so much about our culture. … [Read more...]

Pixie Dust: The Opium of Young Masses

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Disney, Casino Capitalism and the Exploitation of Young Boys: Beyond the Politics of Innocence Great article from Truthout.org on Disney's role in creating consumers out of our kids. Here's a taste... Since children's identities have to be actively directed toward the role of consumers, knowledge, information, entertainment … [Read more...]